Nonostante il gravissimo periodo socio-economico in cui sta versando l’intero panorama sportivo nazionale e internazionale in questo anno 2020, il CUS Roma Tor Vergata raggiunge un risultato straordinario per l’Italia e per il tutto il sistema Europeo. Partner del Comune di Cullera (Spagna) e di Enti Sportivi della Corsica e Bulgaria, si aggiudica il programma europeo ERAMUS+ Sport con il quale darà vita al progetto “VARIED Volunteering And Rugby Inclusion Engaging Dreams” da realizzare nel 2021.
Commenta il Presidente del CUS Manuel Onorati
“Un risultato importante per la promozione dello sport promosso dalla Federazione Italiana Rugby e per l’Università di Roma” Tor Vergata”, unico ente di Ricerca italiano rappresentato. Ringrazio il Magnifico Rettore Prof. Orazio Schillaci per consentire con fiducia al CUS di esprimere le idee e le potenzialità acquisite. Un’opportunità per tutti gli studenti universitari che potranno non solo vivere esperienze emozionanti ma anche collaborare nella complessa macchina organizzativa”
Creation of a transnational network of volunteers, capable of promoting and managing the participation of groups with social integration difficulties (at risk of social exclusion) from a common line of work focused on the sport including rugby. The main objective of this project was to encourage volunteering and social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport for men and women with a learning disability. Our project managed to combine both goals effectively creating full social inclusion through the volunteering in the sport of rugby, by introducing people with learning disability into a mainstream club where they will have become an essential part of the club life. We based our action on creating courses that will have provided the skill for coaches/volunteers to then transfer this innovative form of social inclusion in their clubs and regions. We created a network of actors including sport associations, local governments and care service providers that ensured that everybody can be part of rugby.
VARIED project has been created to further develop and share the successful model we have been using since 2010 to include people from any social or intellectual background through the sport of rugby based on powerful and implicated volunteers body. We are aware that we live in diversified Europe with many different cultures and identities, but we have found common grounds that we can all share, we all need an active life to be healthier and we all need friends to be happier. This simple premise moved us to provide the necessary environment, that is the volunteering, to include people with learning disability through sport, as we have found out that life of to many people lacked both an active, healthy lifestyle and a meaningful social context. These people had been expelled from both sport and society so through the volunteering and the sport we found the path for them to return.
VARIED promoted volunteering and social integration giving the opportunity to people to practice sport regardless of their physical or intellectual abilities, gender, social, ethnic or religious background. We truly believed and demonstrated that everyone can play rugby if we provide the right environment and everyone can help the others and contribute to volunteering. *Everybody will lead a happier life if they can be surrounded by friends.
The benefits of volunteering or practising a regular sport for people with disability or in risk of social exclusion are many but probably the most evident one is the general improvement of their health condition, which is more noticeable in people who have been denied the opportunity to practice sport before. They become more active, increase their coordination and general well-being. Being part of a team (sports or volunteers team) and achieving goals on a weekly basis brings a new confidence to the person and increases their self-esteem. They become more self-reliant in their abilities and more responsible as they have to follow certain structures, such as timetables, clothing or equipment. These are simple routines for most of the people but for others it is a great statement of independence.
“I can’t play rugby”
Although many might have shared our view, they lacked the expertise and the tools to make their idea work. We have been faced with many limiting assumptions that prevent people with disability from practising sport or preventing their careers from even attempting it under assumptions such as: “She can’t play rugby” or “He won’t be able to understand the game and enjoy it”.
To provide the means to educate volunteers to be able to include people with learning disability in an inclusive rugby team within the structure of a mainstream rugby club.
Create a local, national and transnational hub to share best practice and coaching/volunteering strategies to ensure long term continuity of the project.
Create an observatory of volunteering in social inclusion through inclusive sport.